Thursday, February 12, 2009

Freelancers unite!

I've only had two 9 to 5 jobs in my entire life.  The first was for public TV station WQED in dreadful Pittsburgh, which was a stew of cronyism, and I was unceremoniously fired, and the next was my stint at Columbia House Video where I was hauled into my boss's office and told not to tell anyone I was a novelist because then they would know I was thinking about my novel rather than about selling videos, which meant if there were any errors, I would be responsible.  I was also told not to mention my review that week in the NYT (AS IF I WOULD NOT.....) After I had Max, I was home on disability with a horrific illness for about 8 months. When the big cheese called to ask if I was able to come back yet, I happily said, "I'm physically able, but not spiritually able." I left and never looked back.

The freelance life has its own perils--but the pleasures outweigh them.  I'm never bored.  I get to write for a living, and if not on my novel or scripts all the time, at least the other writing work I do is lots of fun.  And I get to do it in blue jeans with Jeff across the hall in waving distance. 

My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman is exactly what any writer needs in this economy. Goodman is hilariously funny as she riffs on everything from "empty niche syndrome" (you want to find your specialty) to giving your clients their very own happy ending. But better than that the book is packed with lots of tips and hints about negotiating rates, dealing with your accountant, and even how to handle the client who makes you feel as though your head is about to explode. "Frugal" is indeed a synonym for freelancing, but the other rewards make you feel damn wealthy.  

I love this book--and I really and truly love working and writing at home.


Gina Sorell said...

This sounds great!

And you are great for continually being so supportive of other people's work!


Clea Simon said...

This sounds great - thanks for the head's up!